Acid ceramidase inhibition: A novel target for cancer therapy

Xiang Liu, Saeed Elojeimy, Lorianne S. Turner, Ayman E.M. Mahdy, Youssef H. Zeidan, Alicja Bielawska, Jacek Bielawski, Jian Yun Dong, Ahmed M. El-Zawahry, Gui Wen Guo, Yusuf A. Hannun, David H. Holman, Semyon Rubinchik, Zdzislaw Szulc, Thomas E. Keane, Mahvash Tavassoli, James S. Norris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


During the last decade, sphingolipid deregulation, namely the balance between the pro-apoptotic molecule ceramide and the anti-apoptotic sphingolipid sphingosine-1-phosphate, has emerged as an important factor in cancer pathology and resistance to therapy. Thus, our research has been focused on developing drugs that are able to restore normal sphingolipid balance, precisely through increasing the levels of ceramide and decreasing sphingosine-1-phosphate. Particularly, inhibition of the ceramide metabolizing enzyme acid ceramidase, whose overexpression in cancer cells has been implicated in resistance to treatment, is proving to be an efficient and promising strategy. In this review, we consider our recent work with acid ceramidase inhibitors, in combination with radiation or gene therapy as a sensitizer that enhance cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2293-2298
Number of pages6
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Acid ceramidase
  • Gene therapy
  • Review
  • Sphingolipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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